Georgetown-St. John's Preview

The Associated Press

While St. John's features one of the top scorers in the Big East, there's no such player for Georgetown - something that was very clear in its last game.

The No. 19 Hoyas seek to avoid their first 0-3 start in the conference in 13 years when they meet the Red Storm at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.

Sophomore guard D'Angelo Harrison is second in the league with 21.5 points per game for St. John's (9-6, 1-2), while Georgetown has nobody in the top 20.

The Hoyas (10-3, 0-2) have been held to fewer than 50 points in both Big East games, falling 73-45 at home to Pittsburgh on Monday. Otto Porter's nine points was enough to lead Georgetown, which last opened 0-3 in conference in 2000.

"It's embarrassing,'' coach John Thompson III said. "We have some things we know we need to address and that will be addressed. I don't think this is - I hope this isn't - I know this isn't who we are, but tonight was very disappointing.''

Thompson drew a technical - his first since March 2007 - for leaving the coach's box. His team is last in the league with 63.5 points per game.

"It's not just bad luck with the rims,'' Thompson said. "We've continued to try to make changes as the season has gone along. It's not like we're just sticking our head in the sand and saying 'Hey, let's not worry about it.'"

St. John's coach Steve Lavin can relate as his squad owns the fourth-worst scoring average in the Big East at 69.1. He doesn't see it as a problem limited to the Hoyas and Red Storm.

"There's a number of teams (around the country) that go six to eight minutes without a field goal and find themselves in games that look like it's Lombardi and Halas coaching up on the frozen tundra or something, a game of field goals and moving the chains on the ice," Lavin said.

The Hoyas are looking for a fourth straight win in this series after averaging 70.0 points in sweeping both meetings last season. Porter totaled 24 points and 18 rebounds in those games.

Harrison matched a career low with five points and shot 1 of 12 in a 69-49 home loss to Georgetown on Jan. 15. He scored 24 in the rematch, a 71-61 defeat Feb. 12.

St. John's fell 58-56 at home to Rutgers on Wednesday despite Harrison's 20 points. The Red Storm went 15 for 27 at the free-throw line and are making 62.7 percent of their foul shots.

The other conference loss for St. John's was a 98-86 overtime defeat at Villanova on Jan. 2.

"We're a couple possessions away from being 3-0, instead we're 1-2 and that's life in the Big East," Lavin said.

Defense figures to be on display with Georgetown allowing opponents to shoot 38.7 percent and St. John's 39.0.

The Red Storm lead the nation with 8.6 blocks per game, with freshman Chris Obekpa second in the country with 5.1.

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